Russian officials claimed little orphan Maxim Kuzmin suffered an appalling death after being adopted to the US.
Maxim Kuzmin, 3, died on 21 January, almost a month before details were released. Picture: Izvestia.ru
But the three year old died of 'extreme torture' after being adopted to America, said an official on Monday.
'A three-year-old Russian child has been murdered by his adoptive mother in the state of Texas,' said ombudsman Pavel Astakhov.
The allegations are especially toxic due to the bitter diplomatic row over adoption following a Russian ban on children going to families in America. This has been seen as revenge by the Kremlin over a US ban on visas for officials linked to the case of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Moscow detention centre after allegedly being a whistleblower on a high-level corruption scandal.
'Three-year-old Maxim was beaten (according to the investigators) by his adoptive mother, who fed him psychoactive drugs over a long period of time,' said Astakov, who expressed fury that the US State Department allegedly kept quiet about the case.
'He died before the arrival of the ambulance called by his adoptive mother. According to the autopsy report, the boy had many injuries.'
Russian commissioner Konstantin Dolgov said Maxim's adoptive parents gave the boy the drug Risperdal, normally used to treat adult schizophrenia and his body had signs of beatings. He said child protection services reported that the boy died 'due to abusive treatment by the adoptive mother L. Shatto'.
'We are forced to declare that the US State Department - unlike the authorities of Ector county - did not help our consulate representatives in finding out the causes of a new fatal incident with a Russian child in the United States,' said the official.
Maxim Kuzmin's adoptive parents have been named in the US as Alan and Laura Shatto. He died on 21 January, almost a month before details were released, it is claimed.
'Max, you were not with us long enough to leave fingerprints on the walls but you left fingerprints upon our hearts,' said an obituary posted by a US funeral service.
Russian officials have complained previously about repeated cases of cruelty, abuses and murder of Russian children adopted to America. President Vladimir Putin has given this as the key reason for halting adoptions to the US.
Other say such cases are a tiny fraction of thousands of successful adoptions, often involving disabled children. Russia's Investigative Committee has begun a probe into the case, said spokesman Vladimir Markin. Of major concern are 'shocking' reports that he suffered 'numerous injuries on legs and head, abdominal cavity and internal organs that could have been caused by a strong blow.
'The foster parents regularly gave the three-year-old child a strong psychotropic substance that is usually used in the treatment of schizophrenia in adults. But this is a three-year-old boy!'
Moscow is demanding 'severe punishment' if the allegations are proven.
The boy came from the same orphanage as Dima Yakovlev, who died in 2008, and gave his name to the new law cracking down on US adoptions of Russian children.
'It is right that Maxim Kuzmin was our boy and that he was adopted last year to US,' said Chief Doctor of Pechora Orphanage, Natalya Vishnevskaya.
'There was no restriction on foreign adoptions then.
'He went to America less than half a year ago so we don't have a first report on him. I cannot clarify any more on the situation.'
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